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How Much Do Fishing Charter Businesses Make Yearly? [Profit Margin]

Fishing charter in a broad sense is seen as an excursion service offered by boat owners and professional fishers which brings guests out onto a body of water for a set period in hopes of catching fish, all for a set fee. The fees in question can be set rates for a given time limit or can be customized to meet the needs of the group embarking on the trip.

People go on fishing charters as a way of just having fun, or for the bonding effects it offers, not to speak of the novelty of the experience. Operators in the Fishing Boat Charter industry provide charter boat fishing services for individuals, parties and companies. Operators may vary greatly in size, ranging from large operators with a fleet of vessels to single boat owner-operators and part-time charter companies.

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Over the five years to 2019, the Fishing Boat Charter industry has experienced moderate growth. Industry revenue has increased at an annualized rate of 4.2% to $405.2 million over the five years to 2019, including an increase of 1.7% in 2019 alone. During the five-year period, the industry has continually trended upwards as consumer spending and per capita disposable income have risen from weak levels during the previous five-year period due to cash crunch.

Fishing charters help customers make the most of their time on the water. The company operates the boat and equipment, helps clients clean and package their catch, and much more. Some companies even provide photography services to help clients capture those priceless memories.

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Local fishing experience, rental equipment, and other services make for a stress-free and fun day, especially when you’re planning a group outing. No matter your level of fishing experience, fishing charters offer a better experience than a simple boat rental could ever provide to people.

The fishing charter industry has been going strong because many people enjoy fishing, but few people have the boats, tackle and knowledge to go fishing far from shore. Fishing charter businesses take people on fishing trips that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to experience. These trips may range from going into swamps to venturing far offshore. After the trips, customers are usually allowed to keep any fish that they catch, if the law allows for it.

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What is The Profit Margin of Fishing Charter Businesses?

According to research, it has been found out that a well-run fishing charter business can earn about a 25-percent profit. If the fishing charter business goes out to the water 200 days a year, this can equate to an annual profit around $34,300 (after the captain has been paid).

In a bid to increase their annual revenue, some fishing charter businesses do add other revenue streams by offering other types of trips. Depending on its location, a charter boat may be used for snorkeling, scuba diving, wildlife tours or sightseeing.

When it comes to the part of fishing charter guides, these folks can make between $75 to $150 a day, with some in high-demand tourist areas making closer to $400 a day. An average professional fishing guide is estimated to make around $55,000 per year. It is estimated that a well-run charter business should earn a 25% profit.

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This result is of course different for inshore and offshore businesses. The example given below is an example of an offshore fishing charter business.

$140 per person x 18 people = $2,520

Say they run an 8 hour trip and burn $400 in diesel.

Say they use $100 in bait and tackle.

That leaves $2,000 per trip.

If they run only 50 trips per year, that leaves $100,000 after trip expenses. With $30,000 in boat maintenance/costs they make a profit of $70,000.

Inshore captains run more trips per year and have less boat maintenance.

The startup expenses for a fishing charter business are significant, usually falling in the tens of thousands of dollars. The largest expense, by far, is the cost of purchasing a boat. According to FinAngler Charters, which created a business plan for a fishing charter in Florida, a new boat can be had for a little over $41,000, but they also can cost much, much more.

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Other startup expenses to take note of in this business include:

  • dockage, which was budgeted at $2,400
  • insurance, which was budgeted at $2,500
  • business Licenses, which will vary by state
  • a fishing license, which will will vary by state
  • utilities, which was budgeted at $600
  • advertising, bookkeeping, legal and management fees

A fishing charter business makes money by charging customers who want to go on fishing trips. Trips may last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Most charters, however, are either half-day or full-day trips.

How Much Can You Charge Customers?

The price of a fishing charter depends on the region that a business is in and the type of fishing it provides. For instance, a fishing charter in Destin, Florida charges between $165 and $200 per hour for up to six people. Meanwhile, a charter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin charges $750 for an 8-hour charter with up to six people, which averages out to under $100 per hour.

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Most charters have a flat rate for up to six people, because how many people are on a trip doesn’t significantly affect how much the trip costs the business. Charters that are licensed to take more than six people often add on a fee for each additional person.